2010-06-02 / Opinion

Up The Creek Without A Paddle

Your choice-
by Terry Toole

I wish I was wise enough to give all of our leaders, but especially our young, impressionable graduates, that just right advice for the rest of their lives, that wisdom from the ages to get them on the right road, or at least heading in the right direction, but I'm not.

At our 2010 baccalaureate service, I heard a young minister talking directly to the small group of graduates that attended that if he could be sure that each of them would make the right choices for their life, he would surely give his own life toward that end, but he couldn't. Each person will have to make the choices which will determine their success or failures in life.

As I was coming out of that same service, I ran into three generations that I had taken photos of at their baccalaureate and graduation services. That may be telling me that I have been doing this too long. My first wife agrees, but until I can’t, I guess I'll be snapping you and yours.

Speaking of choices, a friend of mine was being checked out at one of the larger medical facilities, and several interns were trying to determine what was wrong and what to do with my friend. His wife saw what was going on, and in her sweet way, said, "Get me a white-headed doctor."

In a few minutes, a whiteheaded doctor was there telling the interns what was wrong and what to do.

If I were to give our graduates, our leaders or anyone else some advice, it would be to look for those who have done it right before and seem to learn from others who succeeded. That is what internship for anything means. Learn from other's experience and knowledge.

You go to school 12 years to graduate from high school. Hopefully, you have had teachers who were knowledgeable in their subjects to transfer their knowledge. This is where the choices come. If you are serious in your quest for knowledge, good teacher or not, you usually study and learn. The results show when we attend the honors programs to recognize those who have chosen to give that extra effort to excel.

Hopefully many of you will continue your educations. A few more years will make lots of difference in the rest of your lives.

As I was inducted as the first into the MCHS Band Hall of Fame last week, I could think of a lot who would have been more deserving. In fact, it wasn’t until the presenter said, “The inductee played first trumpet in the first band for five years,” that I knew I was the one they were talking about. Surprise, surprise! It was-

I can't remember too many practices that I was not challenged for my first seat in the trumpet section. I made the choice to try and be the best that I could at what I did. Sometimes I succeeded; sometimes I failed, miserably. Usually my failures were trying to do too many things at the same time, plus do well academically, which is the main goal to seek.

At one time, I was trying to do well with five or more subjects, play in the band, play football, edit a school newspaper, edit the annual, sing in a glee club, be a Beta Club officer, be in several other school clubs and court the girls. It was a worthy goal, but too much of even the good things will make you not too good at anything. I was to some, well rounded. If I hadn't chosen to drop a few things, I would have failed them all. I was a long ways from perfect, but I wasn't an outlaw. I got some good advice and had some good leadership from those who had experience and knowledge.

Graduates, at this time of your lives, you have done well to come as far as you have, but bless your hearts, you have so much more to do and learn than most of us have had to do. You will be dealt "unfair" things that you may or may not have had anything to do with. It is what you choose to do with what you have that makes all the difference.

We "white-headed" folks have not left you as good a world as our folks before us did. May you choose to do better.

It is better to use the experience of others than to make all of you own mistakes of life.

May the Lord bless you in all that you do for the rest of you life. HE is the Way!

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